With Apple getting some good pickup lately around its Snow Leopard OS release, Microsoft wants to remind PC faithful users that Windows 7 is right around the corner. Oct. 22 is only two weeks away, and along with the release of Windows 7, Microsoft will make available the free XP Mode at the same time.
Microsoft said it has finalized the code for XP mode, and it plans on releasing it as a free download from the Microsoft Download Center when Windows 7 launches. In addition, OEMs will offer Windows XP Mode with their systems based on their manufacturing schedules.
Although the Windows 7 team announced that it has been working hard toward making all Windows XP applications compatible with Windows 7, there could be any number of applications that don't play well with the newer operating system -- and that's where XP Mode comes into play. XP Mode will allow users to run older applications that aren't natively compatible with Windows 7.
Microsoft spokesman Brandon LeBlanc explains, "XP Mode is meant to serve as an added safety net so small and mid-sized businesses can migrate and run Windows 7 without any road blocks."
XP Mode will work with the RC and RTM (release to manufacturing) versions of Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise editions.
In August, LeBlanc wrote on the Windows Team Blog that Microsoft made several improvements to the usability of Windows XP Mode for small and medium-sized business users by adding the following features based on feedback provided in beta: